Red in tooth and claw…

Dreary musings this morning. Almost weeping into  my oatmeal. Then remembered the skies clearing in China.  Then nearly praying that such a blue sky would awaken us all to better and more sustainable ways of living.  Perhaps, not with so much isolation — but with some more respect for distance. And some humility in our getting and spending.

I tripped over an online article in Time —

with this picture:

BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 19, 2020: A view of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing’s Tiantan Park. Despite most of the city’s tourist attractions are closed amid the COVID-2019 coronavirus outbreak, parks as the only place for outdoor family leisure remain open for public. Artyom Ivanov/TASS (Photo by Artyom IvanovTASS via Getty Images)

In brief moments I dare to hope that, out of this awful virus and it’s many sad impacts, some good might come.  We humans are so slow to enlighten — or at least many of us are.  Yet there are so many deeply engraved invitations to join the life of earth and forsake seeing our human race (spliced still further into the races liked and the races disdained) as above that life. If we answered in the affirmative to one of these invitations, how different would the world be. How much clearer the skies, happier the homes, harmonious the nations, how much more admiring the races, how much sweeter the praises… More nourishing the food…and, still plenty of woe to go around, for those as needs it.

Nature pushing back — as nature does. Shaking our shoulders as we snore loudly. “Get up, get up,” says nature into our ear, “your dream is destroying the waking world.”

Thinking about the virus I was reminded of Tennyson’s line in “In Memoriam”– ‘nature red in tooth and claw.’  While his attitude toward nature is not mine — his nature is somewhat set apart from the divine — almost in opposition to it, mine is not.  But a long visit with Tennyson resulted in some metered verse this morning.


A paean to thee, raw nature great

Whom man in arrogance would use and hate.

Yet might thee have the final word

Ground’s quake, and seasons turned to the absurd

In oceans’ rise, begetting flood

And we, unwise, unleash ill, letting blood.

So nature, “red in tooth and claw”

Might, finally, again, command our awe.




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